Dairy Futures Project Ends with Better Breeding Opportunities for Australia

AUSTRALIA - The Dairy Futures CRC industry and research partnership to improve dairy herds and pastures comes to an end on 30 June after seven years.
calendar icon 27 June 2016
clock icon 2 minute read

The major legacies of this work are the comprehensive ability of farmers to use genomics (DNA-based information) to make breeding decisions, and a suite of new pasture-breeding innovations that will deliver over $500 in value per hectare per year from improved yield, nutritive value and persistence.

The CRC’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr David Nation, said that Australia now has a new and impressive ability to do practical science on an enormous scale.

“We can now test the merit of any bull or cow against the DNA profiles from tens of thousands of cattle from across all states of Australia,” he said. “The final delivery of herd improvement innovations means that farmers will be able to use genomics with confidence, accessing young sires and making faster progress with herd improvement.”

The CRC’s Chief Scientist, Prof German Spangenberg, described the progress made in pasture breeding as the most profound change in over 30 years.

“Our major achievement is the invention of a hybrid breeding technique for ryegrass breeding,” he said.

“This will unlock a 20 per cent yield advantage in hybrid ryegrass varieties and also make it easier for plant breeders to use genomic selection and add novel endophytes in new pasture varieties.”

Prof Spangenberg added: “We are pleased to continue to deliver solutions for Australian farmers that will drive down the cost of production and improve the quality of pastures and herds.” 


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